Victoria Whisky Festival

The Victoria Whisky Festival: What’s in Store for You?

The taste of the present and the past comes to town as the annual Victoria Whisky Festival will be held from January 14 (Thursday) to January 16 (Saturday).

In its 11th annual celebration, the festival aims to attract whisky enthusiasts worldwide. Aside from the tasting of newly released drams and classic favorites, attendees have the chance to learn about the distiller’s process and what makes a huge difference among the types of whiskies.

According to Dave McMillan, this educational aspect is the key feature of the festival. The 19-year old veteran police of Oak Bay had just retired last year and made one of his post-retirement vacations a working holiday for those who are at the Springbank Whiskey Academy. Here, he joined whisky aficionados from Denmark, France, Italy and other countries to work and learn more about distillery.

Dave McMillan has been involved with the festival for 8 years already. He has appreciations for the amber nectar which began after he received a whisky as a gift. He started to learn more, and that led him to the Victoria Whisky Festival.

“I got more involved, and started tasting more and learning more about it. I also enjoy learning and getting educated,” McMillan said, noting that he has appreciation for the Scottish culture. “Each distillery has its own story and its own kind of whisky.”

Today’s festival features 8 consumer tastings, Canadian Whisky Awards dinner, and 36 master classes. The festival is held at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which will end with the Grand Tasting on Thursday evening. Proceeds from the festival will be given to charitable organizations.

Victoria Whisky Festival

Victoria Whisky Festival held each January. Photo(c):

“It’s not about the drinking, it’s about the flavours. My motto is you don’t drink whisky, you taste it,” he added, advising festival goers to taste the whisky rather than drink it.

According to Lawrence Graham, the president of the Victoria Whisky Festival, with a lot of new whiskies, people are interested at learning more about them.

“Rather than buying their same favourite whiskies, they are becoming more adventurous, armed with a knowledge of the process and the results that creates. People are more and more curious about whiskies from Canada, the United States, Japan, India, as well as from Scotland,” he said.

The festival this year will be showcasing over 250 whiskies that were made in 50 distilleries from Canada, England, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Scotland, Taiwan, and the United States.

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